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Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to tell the time at "Riverbend"

 

Time at "Riverbend" doesn't move, it coagulates. And the funny thing is I don't mind! After a lifetime of rushing from place to place, I surprise myself at how settled I feel at "Riverbend" which I don't leave from one month to the next.

After my failed attempts in 1985 - all within the span of a few months - to first settle in Townsville and then in Sydney, I finally got back to where I had started from in 1965: Canberra. Depending on my mood and the time of day, Canberra was going to be either Journey's End or a place to catch my breath before moving on again.

And temptation to move on again came my way several times. There was an offer to do a consulting job in Bangladesh, followed by a foreign aid assignment in Somalia. Then my ex-Saudi bosses, knowing I would not live in Saudi Arabia again, asked me to work from the office of their Paris bankers on Avenue Kléber. When that failed to rekindle my old 'wanderlust', they asked me to come to Saudi Arabia on a flying visit to pick up the paperwork for an audit in Australia. This I did but the work stopped after non-payment of my first interim bill.

And then along came "Riverbend" which offered a complete change of pace. I mean, until then I had hardly ever held a hammer in my hand, and anything mechanical was totally lost on me. It was something of a struggle but my old mate Noel implored me, "Don't sell Riverbend; that would be the ultimate sin", knowing that if I did, I'd never settle again.

And so I stayed, and 3 years turned into 10, then 20, and I became as irremovable as my old mate Noel who by 1995 had taken up permanent residence in Bundaberg's cemetery ("Rest in Peace, old mate!")

So where to from here? And when? And why? I really don't know, and I really don't care. Let the fickle finger of fate decide!

In the meantime, I had a look at my "clock" and noticed that it's "PM" - and you know what that means, don't you? ☺


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